Majoring in Religious Studies
As a religious studies major, you engage in a rigorous course of study centered on your interests across religious traditions, sects and practices. You will study religion from historical, social, cultural and applied perspectives (e.g. religion and public life, Islam in the U.S., and religion and popular culture); explore major religious traditions including Buddhism, Christianity, Confucianism, Daoism, Hinduism, Islam and Judaism; and delve into newer religious movements, such as Mormonism, Rastafarianism and Scientology. Through this interdisciplinary study, you gain the ability to analyze religion and religious phenomena through the key human conditions of race, gender, sexuality and class.
Student and faculty engagement
You have abundant opportunities to work closely with faculty in Religious Studies. Our students have traveled with faculty to Bangladesh, Israel and Jordan, as well as to national conferences. Many religious studies students undertake independent studies with our faculty, exploring topics such as religion and contemporary media, indigenous responses to Christian missions, religion and popular culture, and memory and trauma. Advanced students in the major serve as teaching interns in courses such as “Introduction to Religion,” “Cults and Conversion” and “Religion and Public Life.” Additionally, the Religious Studies Student Advisory Board plans public events throughout the year on topics such as Jerusalem now and then, global expressions of Islam, and religion and food.
Religion in the world
The study of religion moves fluidly between the classroom and the world at large. You can pursue the study of religion in conjunction with international relations, economics, the arts, law and politics. Our department regularly partners with the College’s interdisciplinary centers, including the Toor Cummings Center for International Studies and the Liberal Arts, the Holleran Center for Community Action and Public Policy and the Center for the Comparative Study of Race and Ethnicity (CCSRE).